18 January 2017

How to Break a Match Tie?

On my main blog I wrote a couple of posts about the last two playing days of the recent 2016 Carlsen - Karjakin title match:-

I wasn't surprised to find that my 'fizzle' opinion was shared many informed observers of the chess world. GM Yasser Seirawan -- who competed in five Interzonals, two Candidate events, and the first of the FIDE Knockout championships -- wrote a three part series on Chessbase.com that received dozens of comments:-

A Radical Solution • 'Still reeling from the 35-minute punch of Game 12 of the "Classical" World Chess Championship match [...] Let the players have a 13-game match. The player with the extra game with the Black pieces has "draw-odds" in the match.'

A Radical Solution - Redux • 'I'd consider it a massive improvement if the next World Championship Match were a 15-game contest with the player who is given the extra game with the Black pieces at the drawing of lots ceremony having draw-odds.'

A Radical Solution - Final Thoughts • 'So where do I stand on all of this?
A. The [World Championship match] is too short.
B. The World Championship title is losing prestige.
C. These developments are not coincidental or inevitable.
D. My proposal:
   a. Play a 17-game match.
   b. The Challenger gets the extra White.
   c. The Champion retains the title in the event of a tie.
   d. The Challenger chooses when to play the extra White game.'

Despite the mission creep across the articles (13 games to 15 to 17) and some refinements, the basic idea is to play a match with an odd number of games. In his last article, GM Seirawan included a shoutout to two other prominent GMs, 'Big thank you to both GM Emil Sutovsky and GM Maurice Ashley for contributing with their articles about the format' (also on Chessbase.com):-

While this discussion was going on, the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) conducted a poll to determine the thoughts of its members. I'll discuss that in my next post.

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